PORTLAND — Students at the city’s three public high schools will begin sharing a common schedule in the fall, under a plan unanimously approved by the School Committee tonight.

Portland, Deering and Casco Bay high schools will schedule and combine certain low-enrollment classes during periods at the start and end of each day. The core of each school’s schedule will remain unchanged.

Superintendent Jim Morse, who started in July, called for the change to allow greater sharing of teachers, students and resources among the high schools, especially as increasing budget cuts eliminate teaching positions and low-enrollment courses.

Courses scheduled during the shared periods likely will include Advanced Placement, music, remedial literacy and math and intensive English classes for students who are learning to speak the language.

“There are some who think this goes too far and there are some who think this doesn’t go far enough,” Morse said Wednesday. “We don’t know whether we’ll get all of the benefits we hope to achieve. This is the beginning of a pretty substantive change that may evolve over the years.”

Many details of the common schedule still have to be worked out, such as what courses will be offered during shared periods, where shared courses will be offered and how the shared periods will affect extracurricular activities.


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